Remembering Bob Probert

Legendary hockey bad boy Bob Probert died tragically this past summer of cardiac arrest. Although Probert spent most of his NHL days in and out of legal troubles, he was always the go to tough guy. Probert played most of his career with the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks. Before his death, Probert wrote a memoir with Kristie McLellan Day titled “Tough Guy: My Life on the Edge.” The Detroit News published excerpts from the book today, and it sums everything that made Probert the hockey player that he was…

I had a little trouble staying current with my probation requirements, so the Red Wings cut a deal with a judge that I would spend one night in jail. They didn’t tell me, because they were afraid I would disappear. Assistant coach Colin Campbell phoned me up and said, “I’ll pick you up at 8 a.m. Have a suit and tie on.
So the next morning, I got into his car and he said, “OK, look. We’re going to see a judge. We’ve cut a deal. You’re going to spend one night in jail.”
I said, “Oh, that’s just a bunch of bull!”

He said, “We’ve cut a quiet deal. The media doesn’t know. The judge is going to clear out the courtroom, and all you are going to do is spend one night in jail. I brought some stuff for you. Sweats and a toothbrush.”
So we appeared in front of the judge, and he says, “Mr. Probert, I don’t agree with this, I feel your punishment should be much harsher, but we’re going to have you spend one night in jail for breaching your probation. What do you have to say for yourself, Mr. Probert?”
And I said, “Well, I think it’s a joke, Your Honor!”
Soupy looked really choked and he whispered, “Probert … you idiot.”
The judge looked up from his binder and said, “You think it’s a joke, Mr. Probert?”
I was trying to step away from Soupy because he was kicking me, and I said, “Well, I don’t think it’s right. They didn’t tell me about this.”
The judge said something like, “Mr. Probert, I’m allowing this deal against my better wishes. But I know you will be back here. You’ll screw up again. So for now, you’ll spend one night in jail. Now get out of here.”

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